People are shocked that their newer, connected, high-tech car is in fact one giant data collection device. Theyre also outraged that automakers such as GM are selling information gathered about their in-vehicle habits to buyers like insurance providers. This is something weve been warning about, and were hardly alone.

Runaway wheel almost kills BMW driver.

But a new report from The New York Times has caught the attention of many. While were glad awareness to this privacy problem is increasing, were just not sure why its suddenly getting so much focus.

Perhaps it has something to do with insurance rates continuing to rise, a phenomenon likely fueled by several factors converging. People are rightly outraged to find that their car is collecting information on risky driving habits like hard braking, hard acceleration, speeding, etc. and feeding that with data brokers.

LexisNexis is specifically mentioned in the article, but we know your vehicle habits, including how warm/cool you like the interior, where you like to go, what music you tend to listen to, and more are sold off to all kinds of information brokers.

But in the NYT report it goes over examples like one guy who saw his insurance rates surge 21% so he started asking questions. Eventually, he found a 258-page report detailing his driving habits. Thats quite extensive.

Marketers gather a shocking amount of data from everyone, including through social media, apps, shopper loyalty programs, and yes even your car. In the NYT piece GM is the main focus, but we think everyone should know pretty much every automaker does this sort of thing.

GM told the NYT data for insurance purposes is collected through its Smart driver service, with three consent agreements served to the customer before its active. But not everyone is convinced opting out of the service means none of their data is shared, a point on which we agree.

Image via Chevrolet

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